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Christian Heritage - Daniel Webster

Updated on July 31, 2008
1782-1852 Senator Mass.
1782-1852 Senator Mass.

Daniel Webster believed the United States had been blessed with prosperity becasue we had submitted our country to God, and yielded ourselves to the Christian faith.

""Man is not only an intellectual, but he is also a religious being, and his religious feelings and habits require cultivation. Let the religious element in man's nature be neglected, let him be influenced by no higher motives than low self-interest, and subjected to no stronger restraint than the limits of civil authority, and he becomes the creature of selfish passions or blind fanaticism. The spectacle of a nation powerful and enlightened, but without Christian faith, has been presented, almost within our own day, as a warning beacon for the nations. {note: He's referring to the bloody and godless French Revolution - by comparing ours to theirs}

On the other hand, the cultivation of the religious sentiment represses licentiousness, incites to general benevolence, and the practical acknowledgment of the brotherhood of man, inspires respect for law and order, and gives strength to the whole social fabric, at the same time that it conducts the human soul upward to the Author of its being.

Now, I think it may be stated with truth, in no country, in proportion to its population, are there so many benevolent establishments connected with religious instruction, Bible, Missionary, and Tract Societies, supported by public and private contributions, as in our own. There are also institutions for the education of the blind, of idiots, the deaf and dumb, the reception of orphan and destitute children, for moral reform, designed for children and females respectively; and institutions for the reformation of criminals, not to speak of those numerous establish- ments in almost every county and town in the United States for the reception of the aged, infirm, and destitute poor, many of whom have fled to our shores to escape the poverty and wretchedness of their condition at home. In the United States there is no church establishment or ecclesiastical authority founded by Government. Public worship is maintained either by voluntary associations and contributions, or by trusts and donations of a charitable origin.

Now, I think it safe to say that a greater portion of the people, of the United States attend public worship, decently clad, well behaved, and well seated, than of any other country of the civilized world. Edifices of religion are seen every where. Their aggregate cost would amount to an immense sum of money. They are, in the general, kept in good repair, and consecrated to the purposes of public worship. In these edifices the people regularly assemble on the Sabbath day, which is sacredly set apart for rest by all classes from secular employment, and for religious meditation and worship, to listen to the reading of the Holy Scriptures, and discourses from pious ministers of the several denominations. This attention to the wants of the intellect and of the soul, as manifested by the voluntary support of schools and colleges, of churches, and benevolent institutions, is one of the most remarkable characteristics of the American people, not less strikingly exhibited in the new than in the older settlements of the country. On the spot where the first trees of the forest were felled, near the log cabins of the pieaeers, are to be seen rising together the church and the school house. So has it been from the beginning, and God grant that it may thus continue!

(Poem omitted)

Who does not admit that this unparalleled growth in prosperity and renown is the result, under Providence, of the union of these States under a general Constitution which guarantees to each State, a Republican form of Government, and to every man the enjoyment of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, free from civil tyranny or the threat of ecclesiastical domination.""

Source: pg 23-24 - Address at the laying of the corner stone of the addition to the Capitol; July 4th, 1851


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    • profile image

      alex 4 years ago

      I thought they were christians.

    • Prophecy Teacher profile image

      Prophecy Teacher 9 years ago from Dallas Texas

      Hello Marshall, we just had a long discussion on this subject. You can read more here:

    • Marshall Hammond profile image

      Marshall Hammond 9 years ago from Portland, Oregon

      The founders of America were freemasons, not christians.